Astrofriend's homepage
Share: Twitter Reddit Facebook Gmail Gmail Email
Search Astrofriend's homepage:

Valid CSS!

All pages shall now have been validated

Info Cookies (Kakor) / GDPR


Advertisement /

Twitter @AstrofriendLars

Follow Astrofriend

Tutorial News

Advertisement / Annons:

My astronomy project:
EQ6 Mount, dismantling / rebuilding


  1. Introduction and Disassembling
  2. Internal gearbox alternatives
  3. Needed belt length, measurements
  4. New timing belt and pulleys has arrived
  5. Lids to worm gear adjusted
  6. Lathe of 60 teeth pulley
  7. Installing 60 teeth pulleys
  8. RA and DEC shaft shims
  9. Test installing timing belts and motors
  10. Installing RA timing belt and motor
  11. Installing DEC timing belt and RA shaft into chassis
  12. Testing and adjusting
  13. Power up and EQMOD gear ratio setup
  14. Hang up the telescope, balancing and calibrating parking point
  15. Fine adjusting RA and DEC worm gear play
  16. Drift align and auto guide calibration
  17. Setup EQMOD and PHD2 (moved to tutorial section)
  18. Test of auto-guiding
  19. Deep into the RA drift compensation
  20. Replacing the stepper motor driver
  21. New design of latitude adjuster
  22. During work

I take no responsibility or liability for what are written here, you use the information on your own risk!

2, Internal gearbox alternatives:

The internal spur gear box cause backlash and is not very smooth. I have got a lot of tips from forums what to do with this internal gearbox.

Almost all of them say: Replace it with a timing belt drive. And maybe that is a good solution, but a bolt on kit cost 180 Euro and this old mount is maybe not worth it, better to save the money to a new and better mount. I have looked at standard timing pulleys that doesn't cost very much. They will give another gear ratio and then the hand terminal doesn't work anymore. That doesn't concern me because I don't use the hand terminal, I control it from the computer with EQMOD and can change the gear ratio in the setup.

A list of the alternative I have:

  1. Keep the spur gearbox
  2. Replace it with a timing belt kit
  3. Replace it with a standard timing belt
  4. Replace it with a direct driven motor with an internal planetary gearbox
  5. Replace it with a fully direct driven motor with no gearbox at all

1, Keep the spur gearbox:

EQ6 Mount, Internal gearbox alternatives

This is how the internal gearbox looks disassembled.

The small gear has 12 teeth and the big 47 teeth. That gives a gear ratio of 47 / 12 = 3.9167. The middle gear doesn't change the gear ratio, only reverse the rotation and give some distance between the first and last gear. They are not equal between the RA and the DEC axis.

First I will try to get this gearbox to have less backlash and run more smooth. But it don't look very promising.

2, Replace it with a timing belt kit:

With this solution it is easy, just install the new timing belt kit.

There are at least two EQ6 time belt driving kits:

Both of them use a narrow 4 mm timing belt and a special 47 teeth timing pulley, that is what makes it expensive.

But it could be tricky to have the correct tension of the belt. The chassis of the EQ6 mount is very closed and then it's hard to see what's going on inside. See how this man solved it:

3, Replace it with a standard timing belt:

If I can use standard timing belts it will reduce the cost a lot. T2.5 pulleys has normally a 6 mm wide belt. But can I fit that belt in this small chassis?

EQ6 Mount, Internal gearbox alternatives

The maximum width is about 9 mm with out doing any mechanical work on the chassis. To have some margin, maybe 8 mm width will fit.

EQ6 Mount, Internal gearbox alternatives

The maximum width of the hub is about 15 mm.

EQ6 Mount, Internal gearbox alternatives

The axis diameter is 12 mm. To lock the pulleys against the axis I need two lock screws.

EQ6 Mount, Internal gearbox alternatives

The maximum diameter of the big pulley is 39 mm included the belt. A T2.5 48 teeth pulley has a diameter of 37.7 mm, maybe that will fit included the belt. A 60 teeth pulley has a diameter of 47.25 mm, but then there is some milling work to do. Four pulleys and two belt I can have for about 25 Euros, but needs some work to fit.

4, Replace it with a direct driven motor with an internal planetary gearbox:

An EQ6 mounts gear ration on the worm gear is only 180:1 and then it need another gearbox between the stepper motor and the worm gear. The built in gearbox is about 3.9:1. Together they give a total of 705:1 gear ratio.

Gear ratio data on Skywatcher's mounts:

With a gear ratio 360:1 and a 400 steps / revolution stepper motor you maybe can mount the stepper motor direct on the worm gear shaft. There are also DC servo motors that can be used, but I have no experience from that kind of motors yet.

I have no experience of small planetary gears. If it work I can set the stepper motor direct on the worm gear axis and then it should give a very good performance. One disadvantage is that the motors protrude outside the mount chassis.

Does it really exist a backlash free gearbox? General info about gear boxes:

It will look something like this but with stepper motors with a built in planetary gearbox:

With Nema17 motors I maybe can keep the EQ6 driver board. A gear ratio of 4:1 is safest to choose, close to the original.

Example of a stepper motor with built in planetary gearbox:

To install this motor you must have some holder and a shaft connector, from 8 mm to 12 mm. The DC resistance is 1.6 ohm, the EQ6 mounts original stepper motors has a DC resistance of about 7.5 ohm. What you need depends on which motor driver you decide to use.

This direct drive shaft solution feels most appealing to me, but should I spend it on the EQ6 mount or wait until I get something better to spend the time and money on?

5. Direct driven motor with no gearbox at all:

This is of course the optimal solution, no gearbox at all. I collect information about it here.

Go Back to content

Go Back
To page III, needed belt length, measurements

Advertisement / Annons: